A cargo van typically spends a lot of time on the road during the year making deliveries and picking up supplies. Over time, the transmission fluid breaks down and isn't be able to continue providing the lubrication needed for the gears in your van to shift properly. Signs your transmission fluid needs replacing include slippage of gears, taking a moment or two before the gears engage after you put the van in drive, and hearing grinding noises coming from the transmission. You need to change the old fluid and filter before it causes serious damage to your vehicle by increasing the wear and tear on the transmission parts. Here is how you can change the transmission fluid and filter on a cargo van.
You Will Need
- New transmission fluid
- New gasket for transmission pan
- New filter
- Catch basin
- Eye protection
- Rubber gloves
- Ratchet set
- Torque wrench
Drain Old Fluid
A pan is connected to the bottom of the transmission to hold the fluid necessary to properly lubricate the parts in the transmission. The old fluid has to be drained from this pan before you put in the new fluid. Some transmission pans on vans have a drain valve on them. You simply open the valve with a small torque wrench and let the fluid drain into a catch basin.
Other times, you have to remove the mounting bolts from the pan so you can drop the pan and pour the fluid into the catch basin. Be careful, as the fluid can splash around and get on your clothes and in your eyes.
Remove Transmission Pan
You have to remove the pan to get to the filter. If you had to remove the pan to drain the oil you're all set, but if you used a drain valve, now is the time to remove the mounting bolts to the pan and take it off the transmission.
The filter will be on the underside of the transmission and is in full view once you remove the pan. Sometimes the filter has a couple of bolts mounting it to the transmission, but other times the filter just slides up into the transmission. In this case, twist the filter back and forth until it pops out of the transmission.
Slide or screw the new filter into place.
Replace Pan and Fluid
Remove the old gasket from the top of the transmission pan. You need to make sure you have the right gasket for your particular transmission pan. The best way to do this is to have the auto shop look up your gasket using the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the van.
Put the pan back up against the bottom of the transmission and bolt it back in place. Make sure you close the drain valve if the pan has one.
Check your service manual and see how much fluid you are going to need to fill the transmission back up. Pour in the required amount of transmission.
Start the van and let it run. Check the fluid level after the van warms up to make sure you have enough in the van. For further help, contact a representative from a company like Alberta Transmission Service.